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Coalition says rent-to-own exemptions could be rolled into budget, limit transparency

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MADISON, Wisconsin — A coalition of faith leaders, low-income advocates and consumer groups is warning against a possible budget provision that could limit transparency about rent-to-own products.

Peter Skopec, director of the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, said Monday that he anticipated exemptions would be added to the state budget for companies that offer rent-to-own goods. Rent-to-own companies offer products like televisions and electronics that people can buy in rental payment installments. Skopec said many companies charge substantial interest.

Skopec says he hasn't yet seen a provision that would exempt the companies from publishing their interest rates, but believes one is imminent.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says changes to rent-to-own provisions are under consideration.

The budget-writing committee has not met since May 29.

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